By: Sharon Paterson, CEO Infiniti
Lockdown has forced a change of lifestyle on all of us. As CEO, I have learnt that the ethos of our company is not tied to the office and is not dependent in this age of technology on us all working from one venue but rather on us interacting daily. We can offer unparalleled service from wherever we are if we are prepared to put in the effort required and we have. We are successfully living our Business Continuity Plan in a way we would never have envisaged a year ago.
Services not deemed to be essential were closed for the first period of lockdown and some are only now re-opening. Like me, many people might well have noticed for the first time in many years how much disposable income was spent on non- essentials! Will this change spending behaviour, ultimately lower the levels of household debt in the country, or even result in a culture of saving? Will people be more grateful for what they have and more prepared to give to those less fortunate? I believe that many people will reassess the way they think about money and what is truly important to them, resulting in a better, more giving society.
Schools have been closed and are only now slowly re-opening. Entertainment venues are still closed and the gathering of friends to party is prohibited. Many people were for an extended period working from home and some still are. This has meant parents spending more time with their children than they otherwise would. Will this become the norm? I hope so.
Of course, as with any change in the values and pursuits of individuals, some industries will be affected more than others. Some industries will shrink or fall away, and others will grow and benefit.
What about the insurance industry? As insurer’s we want to insure what we do understand and can reserve for. Client’s want to insure what they don’t understand, cannot afford to reserve for. So far this has worked well as insurer’s pool client’s money into reserves and, through assessing history, the economy and weather patterns, have a fair idea of what will be paid out in claims and so can provide clients with what they want. As we all now look at risk differently, as lifestyles change, the world will be a different place with new challenges for insurers and clients alike as new risks are contemplated.
The astute, brave and bold will adapt and thrive.